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Ghost hunting politics and theories from a skeptical investigator

Ghost hunting politics and theories from a skeptical investigator

By Rick Hinton

A reprint from an Examiner article in 2013

Ghost hunters are stuck in a rut – so says Kenny Biddle on his Facebook page, I am Kenny Biddle. I personally agree. And it is a rut of our own making!

It is certainly time for some sort of change. Maybe we need to get smarter? It is time to retool our process from the same old tired way; always arriving at the same conclusion. It is time to wean ourselves off of paranormal television (whereby our viewing suddenly gives us a license and a degree in Ghostology). What we’re doing currently is not really drawing us any closer to a solution or resolution. Ghost hunting is still in an infant stage after all these years and continues down a well-trod road traveled by many. We’re no closer now to answers than we were back then.

Kenny Biddle: Mr. Kenny Biddle. (Submitted Photo)

Paranormal groups are still on the upswing. Somewhere in the world a new group is born each and every day as others exit. It’s a continuous cycle that won’t let up anytime soon. A lot of this cycle can be directly attributed to the exposure of reality television. Kenny comments:

The curse of the Para-(Un) Reality show has been fully engaged with the world of the paranormal for years. What is this curse? It’s thousands of groups claiming to be professionals, experts, using science, doing research, and having undeniable ‘evidence’ of life after death. This comes, in part, from watching/taking part/idolizing the various pieces of crap television networks pump out to the masses of viewers that mistake bad entertainment for reality.”

Biddle is a friend, and we share a mutual compassion for debunking hack-job, self-proclaimed psychics. And the taste for fine rum. Kenny is quite passionate in his endeavors and opinions. Passion will ignite a fire each and every time, and I would suspect that with today’s state of the paranormal as proclaimed by the media, Kenny deals daily with an eternal bonfire!

Equipment: Is this equipment even working!? (Photo by Rick Hinton)

Theory and guesswork doesn’t make ghost hunting a science …. as much as we might like it to be. A “science” is a complicated process involving parameters and boundaries, and throughout the years we have pretty much set our own parameters and boundaries as investigative techniques have evolved. This, however, does not make it a “science.” It’s a great sounding term to throw out to impressionable clients, and undoubtedly, is reinforced by the current run of paranormal television. But again – a term of our own making, and not recognized by the scientific community as a whole. Let’s talk about ways to not make yourself look ridiculous if you are serious about pursuing paranormal investigations:

There are those glorious (and scientific?) apps for your smart phone to detect unworldly presences; let the fun begin! Amuse yourselves … emote a chuckle or two … scare the kids … but never present to a client as proof positive of paranormal activity resulting from one of these games. It’s laughable at best, the results being at the discretion of whoever programmed the app and for entertainment purposes only! I don’t know how many times I’ve had a spirit hovering over my shoulder as I dined at a restaurant. A slightly different app at the same table detected nothing. Really? Well there you go – off to the races! If the phone app said so, it must be true!

Mr. Biddle continues next week.

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